International

Zelensky calls for planes, tanks from NATO allies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
In this image from video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, early Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called on NATO allies to provide planes and tanks to Kyiv as it defends itself from Russia’s invasion, while also asking if members of the military alliance are afraid of Moscow.

Zelensky, in remarks after President Biden met with senior Ukrainian officials in Poland the day before, denounced the West for its “ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets and other defensive weapons to us,” The Associated Press reported.

“I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today. I’m in constant contact with them. Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing,” Zelensky said in a video address, according to the AP, mentioning the seized Ukrainian city.

“If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1 percent of their courage,” he added.

Western allies have provided Ukraine with anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, small arms and protective equipment, Reuters noted, but the military aid has not included fighter jets, which Kyiv has requested on a number of occasions. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said Poland’s proposal to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to a U.S. air base in Germany so they could be sent to Ukraine was not “tenable.”

Zelensky, during his video remarks on Sunday, also asked who is responsible for the Euro-Atlantic community, before questioning if the West is afraid of Russia.

“So, who is in charge of the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow, thanks to its scare tactics?” Zelensky said, according to the AP. “Our partners must step up their aid to Ukraine.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its second month last week. The offensive began in late February after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine.

The invasion, however, has stalled in a number of areas because of staunch opposition from Ukrainian forces.

Tags Joe Biden Vladimir Putin

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